Westward Worker Gets Probation for Emissions Tampering

Wednesday, November 26 2014

A third former Westward Seafoods employee has received a suspended sentence for falsifying emissions data at the company’s Unalaska plant.

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Bryan Beigh to three years probation and a $750 fine on Tuesday. Beigh was an operator at Westward’s powerhouse during the alleged cover-up from 2009 to 2011.

City Misses EPA Milestone as Wastewater Plant Progresses

Wednesday, November 26 2014

The wastewater treatment plant this past September. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

Right now, Unalaska is in the thick of more than $70 million worth of capital projects -- and some are more on track than others.

On Tuesday, public works director Tom Cohenour brought city council up to speed all that construction. He said the city’s priciest project, the $20-million wastewater treatment plant, is more than two-thirds finished.

Earlier this month, the city missed an Environmental Protection Agency deadline to get the plant’s chlorination system online. That could mean a fine. But Cohenour hopes they’ll be forgiven if they can finish the plant by the end of next year as planned. 

Industry Blames Pirate Fishing as Red King Prices Drop

Tuesday, November 25 2014

The Bering Sea red king crab fleet finished catching 10 million pounds of quota last week -- and they're facing some lackluster prices as the crab goes to market. It could be due to higher catch limits in Alaska and Russia.

There’s also the problem of pirates. Illegal crab harvesting is declining, but industry groups say it’s still their biggest concern.

KUCB’s Annie Ropeik reports on what impact it had this year.

Council to Get Update on Capital Projects

Tuesday, November 25 2014

City council will meet tonight to move forward with revamping the Bobby Storrs Small Boat Harbor. And they’ll hear the latest on $72 million worth of ongoing capital projects.

Council will vote on $4.4 million dollar contract with Turnagain Marine Construction to replace the C float at Bobby Storrs. That was the lowest bid for the project, though it’s still about $600,000 higher than the city engineer’s estimate.

NMFS Expands Fishing Near Steller Sea Lion Habitat

Tuesday, November 25 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service will re-open fisheries in the Western Aleutian Islands that have been restricted for years to protect a population of Steller sea lions.

The new federal rules were issued Tuesday. They say some fishing, spread out over more space and time, won’t deplete the sea lions’ food source too much.

Steller sea lions eat Atka mackerel, Pacific cod and pollock. Those fisheries were shuttered in the region in 2011, when NMFS ruled that fishing posed a threat to the endangered mammals.

Shishaldin Volcano Latest to Wake in Aleutians

Monday, November 24 2014

A look into Shishaldin's crater this past August. /Credit: Cyrus Read/AVO

Another volcano in the Eastern Aleutian Islands has woken up, a week after a burst of activity at Pavlof Volcano.

Shishaldin Volcano is about 100 miles west of Pavlof, near False Pass. Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory started seeing stronger tremors and hotter temperatures at the volcano early Monday morning.

But the AVO didn’t increase Shishaldin’s alert status -- since it’s already on watch. Geophysicist Chris Waythomas says Shishaldin has been restless all year.

Man’s Report of Bridge Jump Sparks Search, Arrest

Friday, November 21 2014

Police arrested a man Thursday night for falsely claiming he was going to jump off the South Channel Bridge -- leading responders on a three-hour search.

Robert Alan Cash, 56, has lived in Unalaska off and on for many years. But he’s currently homeless, says police chief Jamie Sunderland.

"He had, in the past few days, been found sleeping in a few other locations," Sunderland says. "Alcohol was a factor."

Unalaska's Mayor, City Mgr. Join Governor's Transition Team

Friday, November 21 2014

Unalaska will have a seat at the table in helping Bill Walker get ready for the governor’s office.

Mayor Shirley Marquardt will head up Walker’s transition subcommittee on infrastructure. And city manager Chris Hladick is part of the subcommittee on Arctic policy. They’re volunteer positions, leading up to Walker’s inauguration Dec. 1.

For Better Storm Warnings, NWS Goes Local

Thursday, November 20 2014

The morning after a major storm passed over Unalaska, mechanic Dale Miller stopped into CarQuest auto supply. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

Predicting storms in a fast-changing environment isn’t easy.

But the National Weather Service is slowly working on a plan to improve their forecasts in Alaska -- and across the country -- by adding in the view from the ground.

Dale Miller has weathered a lot of storms since he moved to Unalaska 12 years ago.

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